The Mysterious Disappearance Of Amelia Earhart

On July 2nd, 1937 legendary pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, set out in a Lockheed Electra to continue their flight around the world They departed from Lae [lay], New Guinea, heading for the small Howland Island

This was her 3rd to last leg and she was only 11,300 km from her starting point in Oakland, California The US Coast Guard boat, Itasca, was positioned by Howland Island to help her navigate towards it, but communication was broken and unreliable Thinking she was close to the island, she radioed Itasca, but couldn’t receive any messages

Then there was just silence The plane, Earhart and Noonan all vanished, never to be seen again With no body ever recovered and the confusion surrounding her final coordinates, what really happened to Amelia Earhart? At the time of Earhart’s disappearance she was one of America’s favorite pilots and a cultural icon, constantly pushing the limits of female aviation She broke numerous flying records, winning accolades for her accomplishments She was also a published author, a faculty instructor at Purdue University, an integral part in the formation of the Ninety-Nines (female pilot organization), and a member of the National Woman’s Party

As her 40th birthday approached, Amelia Earhart was getting ready to make a historic solo flight around the world Little did she know it would be her last With no concrete evidence of her last location, her disappearance is open to many interpretations Some theorists believe that Earhart was a spy for FDR and that she was actually trying to fly to the Japanese controlled Marshall Islands In the process, she and Noonan were either killed immediately or held hostage

In 1967 Major Joseph Gervais claimed that after the war, she returned to the US under an assumed name, Irene Craigmile The real Irene Craigmile strongly denied this, and the theory has been discredited One of the more popular theories is that she landed safely on the nearby Gardner Island, now known as Nikumaroro

Her last known message was “We are on the line 157 337We are running north and south” Nikumaroro is along this line

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has been running the Earhart Project since 1989, with the intention of proving this theory Richard Gillespie and his team have made 10 trips to the island, slowly gathering evidence that they believe prove Earhart was there So far only some fragments of plane, small bones, and a few items have been recovered There are forensic teams working to determine whether any of these could have belonged to the Electra or to Earhart herself Some, like Gary LaPook, an aviation accident specialist, doubt this theory

He says Earhart didn’t have enough fuel to make it and that Tighar’s “proof” is circumstantial and could belong to the people who lived there between 1939 and 1963 On January 5th 1939 Amelia Earhart was officially declared dead The official reason for her disappearance is that she simply didn’t know her location, ran out of fuel, and drowned in the ocean The simplicity of this answer doesn’t sit well with many people At the same time, experts like Elgen Long, an accomplished pilot and former accident investigator, and his wife Mary, have collected data and interviewed hundreds of people who were connected with Amelia’s last flight

They have concluded that the crash-and-sink theory was correct After almost 80 years, Earhart’s disappearance remains one of the world’s largest aviation mysteries and is still discussed today She left a lasting legacy for aviation and women’s rights and will continue to be honored But without specific proof, we might never find out what really happened during that flight on July 2nd, 1937

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